vendredi, mai 19, 2006
mercredi, mai 17, 2006
vendredi, avril 14, 2006
the Victorian chambers of public post mortems
that house the poet’s nascent contortions and not
once in two hours do I take my eyes from his,
Luminous the sandflies streaming through the frosted window,
luminous the moonlight filing smooth the brushwood porch,
luminous the plastic turned upon an aged lathe
at the order of a carnival-macabre.
“The swans and their mistress,
the swans and their mistress,
and their mistress
“Alcospas”, I shout, the swamp’d Thames coiled
round vox bloodied strips of eurodisco and candle-
lit beefpunks and burgerlungs all dryhumping in a
damp Westgate cellar. Bottles in diamonds and
crowns - that one with its paper like a butcher’s cut
sealed with wax, that one a token of the past, she
whispers, that one good for the breaking -
and a display case of cigars on serene rotation.
I wear hotpants and a head-dress made of feathers
and howl at the glitterball for hours:
“The swans and their mistress,
the swans and their mistress,
and their mistress
mardi, avril 04, 2006
mardi, mars 28, 2006
over id’s silver ideas
that shoal beneath cell
walls like the stickles we
caught in summer lost,
and let go of. Pendulum
exposure is a postcard
from the road and I faint
and I laugh at our fate.
diluted with spring water
has the autumn come too
soon and gone again. With
you I revere winter green
and celebrate in song the
lines that bind us all together
till the time when time is
lundi, mars 27, 2006
jeudi, mars 23, 2006
I watch the single mind of the far clouds whilst absently polishing glasses and think about the conditions of my friends in turn. You who have had it tough, you in your tennis shoes and your velvet jacket, you with your porcine face and dramatic personas, you who said nice things to me, you with whom I watched the waters draw in at dusk, you the migrational, the pendulum, the fulcrum, the counterbalance, the dead and the unborn, you for whom I would do anything but can do nothing, you ignorant of the unsaid scope of affection, you for whom I came to make espressos after dark and could stay with until dawn.
I consider a photograph that could only be justified by the inclusion of a human element, a photograph of the humpbacked bridge descending upon functional steeples and fading to the empty tarmac car park where no children play. I become so engaged with the natural elements and the desire for a composition as to mistake a curl of air from the extraction fan to be a hand on my arm - your hand in fact.
Walking home I talk amiably to a drunk man ejected from a concert for cheering too loudly. When we part on divergent street corners I tell him that Kant was a midget who never left his hometown. He walks off shouting ‘Kant! Kant!’, his voice echoing on the considered walls of Northumberland Street and fading into the relentless spool loops of traffic lights, taxis and the subterranean metro somewhere not so far beneath our feet.
mardi, mars 21, 2006
3 Pastel Colours
lundi, mars 20, 2006
samedi, mars 18, 2006
Thames Valley School of Driving
divided a sandwich in half in the car and ate while polly put her jacket across her lap, looked out the window at the motorway interchanges and engineering and asked me about home, laughing. claims my particular brand of apparent recklessness can be attributed to the Thames Valley School of Driving - hand on roof, window down, music cranked, cigaret in hand and handbrake turns. I refute.
south shields beach and then to another sea wall where the waves were leaping up over the railings and I played the game but got soaked and my phone filled with little shrimps and is now broken; staggering back whilst wiping the salt water out my eyes, I stood in 4 inches of water and ruined my shoes; climbed the red iron steps of another abandoned warning tower and mocked the unimaginative graffiti there, carnival on to marsden grotto and pints of guinness by the squally dashed north sea, admiring the limestone erosion patterns like geography teachers on holiday.
to the byker wall for hannah's delicious fresh veg curry and origami crocodile competition then on to the cumberland where tom and fabienne slaved and al talked cheerfully with his silly booming laugh to some nice looking people, on to the free trade to see a woman like lolo ferrari with an arbitrary line drawn around her jaw to demark the alleged zone of her lips, ugly tits spilling out of an ugly top, talk of funding from arts developement council and angry arguments with insistent feminists then home, home to my house to sleep.
vendredi, mars 17, 2006
into stolen arcoroc - an insipid
grubby popera for the audience
at Dawn. Half step to youthful
moon, his white hair stainless
iridium and coy, dress ripped by
the silent blue light of passing
suburban police. Fulcrum on the
Milton rails like blizzard outside
home, that sweetnd cup of
warmed up milk for rook buildings
on country roads. Testament and
legacy a hot-tub full of painted
stockings and kissed photo
graphs. Tomorrow is a brawl with
a fair skinned girl beaten up against
stadium walls, as deep fat
prayers fire up a’bubblin viscous
unthought process like broken traffic
or communal dependence, a promise
of rain and slate clean skies and
as ever the music in my mind
that no one else should hear.
Fulcrum on the Solzhen line of
ritalin and sugar puffs, I turn off
the alarm clock and fall into bed
to dream or maybe not.
jeudi, mars 09, 2006
A Bird Loves The Sun On Her Back
In scarlet electric storm fields that lead to the coast
where waves crash an ice tide of crack’d pearls,
iridescent driftwood and convulsive silver fish,
she sings to me a warning song.
Scything auld thermals above resort in decay
and the traffic of our talkshow youth below,
we hunt the ocean of perpetual summer in yesterday’s
chip-wrapped headlines snagged on the broken glass
of abandoned arcades.
Doric cliff columns absorb the red ink dusk
and will do so until the day does not come,
for Time is no mere chronological concept
of knots in a strand that must be undone.
Far out in the swells where light falls in bands
and dusk is depicting a few early stars,
she flies in defiance of thundrous cars
curling the serpentine road.
Polarised by latitude, we regurgitate in gutters
the rhetoric of a doctrine sold in triplicat and hope,
while the view of Norway is gradually obscured
by the tacked up chipboard windows.
And as I turn and leave this town along a promenade
and through a labyrinth underground,
I hear her song as a hymn to tomorrow
where our children fight ever on.
lundi, février 27, 2006
Transposed With Dictionaries From The Old English
Vär skap kohl floes
kraked Sîan bohr
Spectre ah köhve
truqil ø pashk
in urban woodland.
ø Lucufus rokk
Ry nils Spectre
behrehn ø schäde vilo
tranz kahbĕ Solus
enviktu ti antti.
And in the pines
ti axen kahsp
ø Lucufus raggan ah rahw
bljed halle mund
in the pines.
phoe ex ash
Bahn schäde fernus!"
They will come at dawn
vär skap kohl Sîan
ø Spectre tranz
blue on lips
See You When I See You
“If an ox could draw his god
he'd draw an ox if an ox
could draw his god…”
Feral children climb carcass bones on the back
lawn of a red brick, semi detached house
and drink around circular tables of iron wrought
into the chaotic equations of an ivory vine. A murder
of crows sits in the pine tree Palace
kahwing through the velux, open and cold,
in a burst vacuum can.
His legs slick with sweat, hers with the glaze of the sun.
Яapists come in all shapes and sizes
and there is abuse in geology.
State funded school children
as legal age camouflaged
TVs on T.V.
y’kna, daisy chains
of the obscene
absence of love.
Great love is a holy fear/:
the contrapuntal cello in Dumbarton oaks,
a symphony of fallen leaves –
forecasts of autumn.
Or for ten points
the rising choir, female and modular,
accessing that tropos condition of innocence:
the fighter pilot’s inferno,
the cirrus Eden of a wilful melody,
the blender full of eyeballs?
Feral children climb the steeple’s velvet apex above
gravestones pocked by cedillas \ umlauts
to watch the solemn mourning carnival
of stoats and shrews devour their young
to the insistent pulse of old candle moon.
Bengalsky’s men surround the Theatre
awaiting the fallen dancer –
the strangled swan.
A latex woman in our cold bed.
Seventy Kopek steam rushes out my kitchen window
filling Bronnaya with cabbage and tangerine.
On the pavement, young proley florist re-arranges
long stem roses in a red mop bucket, occasionally
touching his breast pocket
and a postcard from The Yalta.
Feral children yell a Prok requiem.
Great love is nil cacosonis and
the forming of songs of tranquil indolence/:
consonants repeated in the gymnopaedie,
upon the high beam and all over the floors.
I fly tonight.
vendredi, décembre 02, 2005
under the brown wood table))
The philosophy of problems tells of an end,
a flag on a minor moon.
vendredi, novembre 25, 2005
Triplets For Clifford Duffy
or grapple the pockmarked back
skin of time.
no bottle of Uzo at the end of the rope,
nightmares of the Loch Ness Monster or
daydreams of id.
no carousellesque of sugared almond stalls
or acute prostitutes seducing the obscure
at the gates to Lunar Park.
no notes on bark with charcoal
upon a desert island formed of ideas, of lava,
and of the pearly shells of hermit crabs.
or discarded jumper brushed with perfume.
no cheques cashed till payday,
or the franchise of poetry.
tombstone vase birdbath cherrytree
no being held
jeudi, novembre 17, 2005
mercredi, novembre 16, 2005
(with napkins starched in purgatory)
I sit at a table for one admiring
views of Lake Vanda and it's 2 million year drought
surfed by blue and gold pleasureboats
beneath a crescent of desert mountains
brewing up electrical storms and
some 22nd century composer whose name I don't know
is playing a strange haunting song on the one key piano.
I eat cracked crab on a pak choi and spinach bed
and drink three barrels brandy from the bottle.
I light cigarets and place them untouched in the ashtray
to smoulder like an aggravating incense.
I suppose I am lonely and that life and soul
departed from my lips in a foxes wedding
years ago, ho ho, I suppose.
And round the circular table adjacent to mine
a whoop of baboons talk stocks and share
several bottles of non vintage German wine
as I mutter into the tape recorder:
'8.05 pm still waiting to go out sailing
on a blue and gold pleasureboat
under the studied danger of electrical storms.'
Then when talking to myself I remember a joke you made
about your body
and I repeat it without
realising how weird I must look
to all the other customers here,
and it makes me smile,
and its only when I smile that I realise how abnormal it is
to be in touch with an unseen friend,
rather like writing to heaven
and getting answered by god's secretary,
who's probably just some low ranking
mardi, novembre 08, 2005
Presented with any written work, be it prose, play or poem, identification of subject matter, theme, tone and perspective follows. This is to break down the overt, to interpret that which can be translated.
In dismantling, the child is asked to deconstruct passages into emotive and didactic cores in order to attribute them with personal meaning, or resonance.
In the final critical analysis, the child is expected to opine and extrapolate theories as to the success of the piece, and wherever possible to identify faults by making use of refined examples.
So here’s a kid who hands in a critique on unlined paper written in green biro and filled with patois, sarcasm, vitriol and curses. The paper itself is crumpled and the ink has been smudged. She receives the lowest possible mark. She is punished because she has not attempted to represent her feelings within the guidelines of the teacher, the exam board or the government.
“She’ll never learn,” they will say of her in their rooms.
And they are, of course, correct. Because they will not encourage indiscipline, which they fear will become independent discipline.
“They’ll not teach me,” the girl is saying through her actions.
And she is correct too. If she feels that a piece of work is irrelevant to her, then so her response becomes irrelevant.
mardi, novembre 01, 2005
Our Contribution To The Insurgency
The bus had dead shocks and it was covered in neon acrylic daubings for spiritual protection. Many of them were faded. The driver was a small man who played trebly bhangra at full volume through blown speakers to remain conscious. He wore a collared beige shirt and slacks pressed with an immaculate crease. Both were stained.
Sparse jungle. From the depths of a footwell (I had offered my slatted bench to a middle aged woman in a turquoise sequinned sari) the weak headlights flashed off coconut palms and sequoia trees draped with vines. Out of the rear window, a dust storm rose in swirling clouds burned a deep red by faulty brake lights that were jammed on.
Books had informed me that tigers lived within these trees, prowling the forest floor for infant monkeys fallen from the nest. They hunted alongside rhinos, hippos, cobras, and spectacular ants with fat bodies who could devour an abandoned baby in minutes. I never saw any of these things.
The bus came to a sudden and obvious halt, as if the driver had been forced to stop for a landslide.
Voices outside. The door prised open. Automated interior lights on to a burst of shouting. Then the bus driver shouting. Passengers awoke and slowly sat up.
A gang poured in, filling the central aisle. There were big and powerfully built farmers, small and twitchy sons, and old, lithe men. Their jet eyes flashed with adrenaline through the gaps in handkerchief balaclavas. One of them shouted at the driver to turn off the bhangra. They carried an assortment of weapons - the old man nearest me held the kind of hooked machete a butcher uses to gut a pig. he smelt of patchouli and hemp oil and I thought of his wife for a second.
He thrust the polished blade at my throat and as I shrunk back against the wall of the bus, I could see the thousands of tiny hammer marks that had beaten his steel. Then I looked him in the eyes. He was shouting something at me.
The woman in the turquoise sari had gathered up her legs and clutched at them like a little girl.
‘Money. They want money,’ she said to me tremulously. I turned my head slightly on this remark and saw that the sequins around her shoulders were shimmering in the yellow cabin light. She was shaking.
The butcher held up the four beautifully twisted fingers of his free hand. I took that to mean a demand of four hundred rupees. He pushed the blade an inch closer to my throat.
I slowly removed the only note in my pocket, which happened to be five hundred rupees, and held it out. He switched the machete to his left hand and took the note sharply from my grasp with his right, withdrew the blade sharply and turned to check on the progress of the gang.
Other travellers were being liberated of banknotes. An Israeli fresh out of national service had been struck across the face and his nose was broken and bleeding badly. He was spitting on the floor. A young, frail looking bandit stood over him with his club raised, shouting indecipherable local dialect at the back of his head. I assumed the Israeli had offered misguided resistance or machismo, since when I had spoken to him upon embarkation he had talked with a guttural enthusiasm of Palestine and his role as a gunner.
The entire ambush took no longer than three minutes. They dissolved into the dangerous jungle, and I saw that one man had his arm around the shoulder of his son.
Be aware of how the language of the International News Bureaus subtly shapes our impressions of world events. Thirty years ago they talked of Rebels, twenty years ago it became Freedom Fighters, ten years ago it was Armed Factions, five years ago it was Militants, and now, now, very now we have the Insurgents. Beware of the International News Bureaus - they know what they’re doing.
lundi, octobre 24, 2005
The New Gonzo
And how. As an arbitrary triumvirate, Kerouac, Thompson and Wolfe positioned themselves within the constraints of self-induced drug dystopia. They were the central characters operating within the masquerade of their own reportage, telling stories set within a psychadelicatessen full of sliced revelations and coldcut epiphanies.
For the Millenials, it is tempting to dismiss the excesses of the beat and the post-beat writers. To we who are governed by the steel muzzle of commerce and cradled by the feathered down of dollars, pounds, euros and yen, this is the age of the atrocity and the work of the Gonzo godfathers seems inebriated.
Would Hunter, for all his work against impingements on civil liberties, have functioned pro-actively without such a monumental hangover? The temptation is to say that the drugs gave him a cause and made him fight, but I don't believe that. The man himself claimed he would never have survived if all his stories had been true and frequently nodded to Neil Cassady as proof.
Yet it is an invalid exercise to theorise about a quasi-Hunter aware of the Nietzschean superman who chooses intoxicated discretion whilst simultaneously remaining in control of his dominant Id and directing his attentions on a sober attack upon the state. Invalid because it is the wild freedom of mescaline binges inside the state line that attracts us to the writings of the Gonzoid beat boys and their dictatorial impositions of will and choice. We risk standing upon soapbox hypocrisy and echoing Leary’s latter day denouncement of drug use if we call for detoxicated heroes in rehab.
To place one’s self at the centre of a story empowers our unique, personal truth. Within this notion are contained the possibilities of humanising tragedy, of quantifying injustice with the humanity of humour, and of abnegating statistical empiricism.
So instead of:
‘2,000 were killed in riots between the Lebanese mafia and Mananga tribesmen in Gambia yesterday’,
We get something akin to:
‘An orange sun defined the idyllic diesel generators and cocktail shacks of Mbama beach, but as I walked, I became aware of several columns of acrid black smoke dispersing in the distance. Then, as I came closer to the suburbs, I realised that sounds previously taken to be the thunderclaps of some encroaching tropical swell were, in fact, large bore automatic weapons posing questions. I didn’t see a dead body until I arrived at the children’s adventure playground that backs onto my hotel’s garden. A police officer was slumped over a swing, his exposed intestines already covered in flies. A large pool of treacle was spreading underneath him, and he seemed to have died with his eyes open, in great pain.’
In order to report a story, you have to live the story. In order to read it, you have to use your imagination to make it come alive, and a writer can help with this. Barren statistical writing and bleakly conjugated ideas - no matter how erudite - will ultimately only deliver a message to a tiny minority of gentrified intelligentsia and pathetique sympathisers. It is indolent journalism.
Most subs claim that only type A will do, and that people don’t have time to read type B for the Millennial urbanite is far too busy to empathise with a distant reporter attempting to find super-ego equilibrium through her verbose story telling. This is an economic oligarchy that encourages empirical news reporting and desensitization. It spreads like influenza, unnoticed, through the news-digesting nation, until eventually even the most terrible soundbite loses all impact because it has no founding in steeled personal truth.
‘2,000 were killed in riots between the Lebanese mafia and Mananga tribesmen in Gambia yesterday’.
Empathy is a divine word for the godless. It promotes respect, forethought, insight, compassion and, most importantly, imagination.
Much modern poetry utilises a sloppy congress between aesthetics and form in order to create a universe of infinite meaning and meaningless infinity.
Reformulated poetic structure evoking the angst of the writer and justified by killer one-liners and clever sentences will never do. Poetry is Rilke’s naming of the nameless. It is an impressionist artform, but like Cézanne, it requires recognition of laws or else it will forever flounder in the beautiful lagoon of shallow ambiguity.
vendredi, octobre 21, 2005
What’s He Building In There?
For Thomas, a central concern has long been the camouflage of actualities in order to saturate reality with a refreshed truth. In previous incarnations the m.o. was to isolate the colourwheel rotations of the day: to distil the experience of becoming a man into a palette of graphite sketches. The resulting stark, spare language and profusion of colliding core concepts lent the old Thomas a lyrical, yet angular aesthetic firmly rooted within the minutiae of a bleached world. Reading him was rather like finding emeralds on the floor of a sterile laboratory - he invoked a sun seen through a double glazed window.
“Speckled carpet, shorn of dust, clean parallels, no sex anymore.”
Such exposure to a quixotic world required a constant configuring and restructuring of reactions. In order to maintain his logical continuum, his growth, Thomas was perhaps occasionally victim of his own emotive subterfuge. When precise geometries are described with such definitive cruelty, it seems almost as if there is no space left for the boy to grow into, as if any deviation from previous revelations will jeopardise the integrity of the original thought.
“I wait for my words to mean nothing, pared down as they are by a lack of context, a discreet humbling which renders my outpourings little more than an exercise in hand-eye co-ordination.”
And so divorcing the ‘years worth of unfocused idiocy’, we find him cut loose upon the lifeboat, scraping sodden matches against their vesta case and hurling scraps of unrequired flesh to the sharks. Alone upon some Northern ocean, he is exerting constraints upon his environment like the man who was god. This unflinching, acetate etching is both an evocative diary of the mundane and a blackboard for the de/construction and debate of modern literature. The voice has matured without losing the laconic and likeable nuances, and his most powerful character is still the city.
Personally, since the subject matter is specified to a degree, it is way over my head. But then I like nice words, so I tend to sit at the screen absorbing as much as I interpret and listening as much as I read.
It is far too early to remark upon much else, so I suggest you take a look for yourself and find out what he’s building in there. You have a right to know.
vendredi, octobre 14, 2005
jeudi, octobre 13, 2005
Alone, Mary ordered dishes from the chalkboard menu, juggling shrapnel
in her handbag, cafe closed,
her head consumed by bacon and eggs and fried bread,
dictating a drafted will and testament in blank verse upon her empty stomach.
The city spoke of elocution, her circulation a design fault,
her dancing star restless in the wings,
double tanqueray on ice with tonic and a fine sapphire necklace,
repealed applause a reprise for 'disintegration' (as she defined her condition) - viz. deconstruction in the lips of infants.
As umbrellas downed and pearly drizzle coagulated around the stacks of the power station, All was thinly veiled in the lies of Oktober,
All being infrastructure, war and commerce, All breeding penicillins and moulds, All the religious caresses of commutable partnerships,
All the closed circuit kisses buoyed by the immediacy of seasonal fog.
3 billion dead; elsewhere, bodies to be deep-frozen and smashed; gin tears; regulation of congestion zone to be monitored; gutless cocaine ingestion no substitute for maternal love; the debt we owe her [r.e.: former prime minister]; England team victorious.
Laughter filtered through plasterboard floors, a private engagement to the liquid crystal display. Our Mary’s beauty was sarcastic and Saharan, but why must I endlessly commemorate her and her immense resistance to erosion? Nothing, more than sand, nothing.
The darkened cave walls were covered in ancient graffiti of some anthropological interest, the atrium slick with bursting pods of seaweed acting as an indicator of climate’s progress.
It is hard to write about happy things.
Denial of use of class A drugs by blushing Labour minister; licence fee mandate referred to local referendums; 7 billion alive; Jordan floods Gaza; vote for the ugliest car of 2005; comedian in tragic fall; England team defeated.
Mary used to live on the coast where the trees are either coniferous or imported tropical palms, shrubs and cacti, and eventually she had no gauge for the passage of time. Once when she visited the hills she was astounded to understand that it was in fact late autumn, and not the youthful summer that the globalised skies and waxy desensitized spines had suggested. We spent that afternoon kicking curled golden leaves and walking interlinked and synchronised, and that evening we made love for the second time.
Dived naked into the warm, black sea long after the witching hour. Clouds of phosphorescent plankton streamed and swirled around her, each organism as violently coloured as tinsel glitter, All uselessly redistributing the sun’s energy in the only way they understood.
A conductor’s baton rapped the music stand to let an Inter-City 125 past. It crawled along, weighed down by influenza, Austin Reed, and the gentle fans of laptops wirelessly connected to the international information exchange.
Diseases borne by ducks killed 25million in 1918-19; Kate Moss’ internal turbulences account for her compelling attraction; world to end in 2013; congestion zone enlarged; U.N. president survives auto-assassination much to self disgust; England team victorious.
Feet up on the backs of the cheaply upholstered cinema chair in front,
Mary observed a looped reel of our first meeting
with venial and bloody hardcore pornography,
images of sunsets seen from the hospital window, the shaving of pubic hair,
cars reversing down the motorway and backing in to garages,
superstars masturbating and brushing their teeth.
Mary the manifestation of my un-thought, giving definition to angelic syntax, shutdown.
With hair like coral we parted from each other until dawn, only reunited
by the crescendo roar of stacked valve amplifiers and the drone of near-space. We were not together then.
On the balcony of Puccino’s we shared a salad because we were not hungry.
The chalkboard was decorated with vines of ivy
drawn by an amateur hand full of love. On returning from the lavatory
I stood to let her past, then grabbed her about the waist. She giggled.
We danced a waltz a sine wave, frequency doubling and dividing.
Explicit theatre slammed by critics; sub-continental shift births new hope; atmospheric gas blizzards cause chronic respiratory disease; Bliar;
England 1 - England 1.
‘See that line where the paving slabs meet?’
‘Let’s say that marks our boundary.’
‘I don’t want to lose you as a friend.’
'I'm strong. I work out.'
'I can't bare to hear from you.'
'Remind you of your sins?'
'I hear you've got a serious boyfriend.'
'Oh, I get it.'
'He's everything you're not.'
'I have to support the world.'
'He's just a boy.'
She lies on her front in the bath.
Her head rests upon a crooked elbow,
soapy rivulets dripping off her fingers,
and her hair floats up to Saturn,
where the razor's grazes on her long legs
Zildjian K thunderclaps roll in from the jungles to prelude the deluge.
Pre-thermal, Arctic swells garrison us within the tower block fort.
Lit tea-lights spill wax, and against those four walls -
the silhouettes of vaporous heat and two bodies.
This carnival of genetics and circus tents is drenched in organ requiems,
cleansing the tapestry of delusion.
I hold her hand through the crowds, having grown up in the countryside.
She kisses my cheek because she is hallucinating.
We launch the rowing boat into the cold canal with barely a ripple.
It is dark, so the boat is full of woollen blankets and cheap cushions.
The city is shrinking within the future like a bottle of water on a ship.
Arches are difficult to fabricate. The tidal efficiency of straight lines
augurs a good economy, a warm spring.
‘I feel like I’ve lost my spark.’
Electro-magnetic anti-gravitational fields
are in development in the six homeless children’s hostels.
Pine trees in geometric diamonds colonise the hillsides
above the Swiss town, and the lake appears to have burst
it's shoreline. The fission/fusion research centre hums in B minor
as a family unpack their picnic.
She takes a packet of cigarets from her bag,
loosens her tie,
locks the cubicle door,
opens the slit window,
unwraps the cellophane,
She is ten years old.
The door to decompression opens.
To express the immediate through latent flow is
enough. Terminal velocity in eleven seconds.
vermin on toast, a diseased peach,
spiders in the plughole, flowers in the gutter,
compressed coal, the treason of refining crude thought,
and an entire mountain-range,
The numbering of candles
The doctor smiles when she tells Him that she tried to throw herself
in front of a bus, He smiles when she mentions harmony and the
prosaic, He nods his head to her scars, He takes note of
her breasts and her collarbone, and He prescribes an opinion.
‘Fuckin sow, fuckin maw,
who does she think she is,
she can’t imagine
we could enjoi this burlesque?
Sedatives secreted under tongues,
filthy distorted physiognomy,
filthy dusty floors and walls
and rusted unsprung beds,
she can’t imagine
a private life.
Fuckin doctored cheeseburger
those reconstituted beef patty
lips, I can’t understand this.
Where are you Rory?
Where are you?’
I am watching her die on camcorder
just for the Hell of it.
‘I tell you this much.
When I woke with
hair tenderly parted
I walked to your room
swung the door
and what I saw
in morning blues
was you, love.'
samedi, octobre 08, 2005
Russian Doll House
or puddles of rainwater within them,
no wriggling mosquito larvae here,
so no relentless malaria.
No squeaking bronze weathervane
or bituminous roof underneath,
so no crows with straw in their beaks
stolen from the horse's bed.
No accountant in the world
could submit a fiscal audit
of the tax year end and how
I came to kill my friend.
On Zwarovski and Krispy Kreme
ducks and swans
strangulate the menageries
at the back of the fridge
laszji tu th hurss
ma allawys laszjig
for bad weather
a fine selection of bakeries
and bleak films
in black and white
laszji tu th hurss
o’r attha moor
all the way from
lashed to the horse
but always lashed
mercredi, octobre 05, 2005
lundi, octobre 03, 2005
away from the hurricane
in diesel clouds,
punching out birdsong,
this Indian summer.
gathered our friends
and tag’d their feet
the stars were meaning-
(who have no
more dead bodies
and rubber tyres
past the library roof
like a computer game.
as a stretch
of Rocky Mountains
away from the horizon
and into a docile
lake unseen -
blossom with fig
and cherry pollen
in autumn renewed,
there is only
to remind us
of the calm
jeudi, septembre 29, 2005
A Pub Joke
'I think I'll have a large glass of Black Tower', he announces at length.
Antonin coughs into his cigaret. 'And for you, narrator?'
'Nothing for me'.
'Nothing? You must have something. We've not come all this way for you to sit morosely in the corner watching our inebriation.'
Antonin shrugs and kills his cigar. 'I'll have a Armagnac'.
The hero stands and walks through a crowd of collared middlemen, slips to the bar and places the order. 'A large glass of Black Tower, a triple Armagnac and a single Creme de Menthe please barman.'
On returning to the table with the tray, he discovers that the narrator has, as usual, lost interest in the day and is slumped across the table, his intestines having been auto-jugged by a broken ashtray. Black blood is spreading inexorably across the varnished table and stipling with a pitpatpitpat onto the Morris floral print carpet.
H: 'Oh bloody hell. I bought him a Creme de Menthe too.'
A: 'I'm going to light a fresh cigar and toss the smouldering match into the grate of the fire, which will catch due to the updraft of the chimney.'
H: 'Here dog, lick the blood up will you?'
A: 'Fuck off - I'm not a pig. My penis does not spiral.'
H: 'See the football?'
A: 'I heard it. Who are you, Tolstoy?'
H: 'No, but I agree with him that Nietzsche was a ridiculous human being.'
A: 'Shall we go skiing this Christmas?'
H: 'Oh cute tangent! And I suppose you will want to carry brandy in a barrel about your neck?'
A: 'All this smoke feels decent and human, yet still I crave oxygen.'
H: 'You're only human and decent.'
A: 'I can smell old Martini and Rothmans Royals infused in the pile.'
H: 'The fire is burning.'
A: 'Well let's just shut the fuck up and enjoi it.'
H: 'What's this?'
(He waves his wrist wildly at the snout of the dog and emits a piercing yell)
jeudi, septembre 22, 2005
The Poetic Manifesto of Rock and Roll
Rock and roll exacerbates the impulses of the pack, the gang, the school, the pride. It gives us a home away from home. But is not the nature of meaning in music that I wish to explore, not when there have been so many before me who have covered and lidded and shrink wrapped the subject in the time capsule of posterity. I wish to explore the psychological implications of band structure.
The four piece band acts as a functional model for our interpersonal relationships, through love, sex and friendship.
Guitar and vocals are the external voice, the spoken word; the promise. The soprano hooks of your lover’s voice soothe the pounding syncopation of polemic emotions that pulse within; the tenor screams of a child awake at the witching hour, resurrecting the cremated.
Bass and drums are the internal monologue; the private. The alto rhythms of circulation and bone remind us we are not alone, a savage invigoration of the crude biology of loneliness.
The three piece band acts as a dysfunctional model, manifested as the schizoid, corrupted despair of the humble lover neglected in a ménage à trois.
Guitar and vocals no longer comply with the standard question/answer format; instead all is imbalance and ego, an unmanageable destiny, a cavalcade of unanswerable postulations.
Bass and drums rupture the relationship with their isolated horizons, their soporific white noise. Here they have mutated into a public conformity, a platform upon which the singer may tell his solitary stories.
The two piece band plays out the deific designs of a biopic relationship, uncomplicated, simple and purely driven by the parabolic waltz between deadly sins and immortal charity.
Here, all sound is created tangentially. It is the arithmetic telepathy of shared love.
The solitary performer is the soapbox radical, the loser. All sound issues forth from within and there is no answer. There are no backing singers with harmonies on the fourths and the ninths. The soul is stripped back and beaten flat. There are no bass and drums, no anatomy of kisses, no palatable loneliness – only the artist performing the summary of his cumulative exhorts.
But wait! We are forgetting the world around us. There is and will always be the echo of perfection – you the molten audience. You the audience, the validators of isolation.
We play for you off-key and warped by feedback, we play for you strung out and strung up, we play for you because we love you. We will continue exponentially until there is no reason for art to provide a model of suffering and bliss. Until the crystalline naivety of the Utopian dream has finally been realised. Until the midnight when the earth’s core has been entirely pillaged of ores and there are no guitar strings. Until you lose interest.
Until we are dead.
mardi, septembre 20, 2005
2: Our men are returning from the Gulf
1: Art is everywhere
2: Congregate for the scattering of ashes
1: The Korean Presbyterians play football in the graveyard
2: Do me a line
(cocaine is chopped)
The Waiting Game
1: As a foam stress ball/
1: People people people dickheads people
2: I know/
1: A passing car stereo
2: It's neverending
1: Y-U-S-E-F. You say it to me
2: Pink, ochre, Rajasthani cream
1: And so silence only in the darkest hour before dawn
2: Even the drunkards of Westminster are scared
1: Vapour trail cirrans
2: As a slapdash dissertation on Business
1: People people people lover people
2: I don't know
2: Yes my child?
1: Are you omnipotent?
2: I am impotent. They sterilised me
1: La jeune fille grose et tranquille
2: Ultramarine, grey, Brasilica cyan
1: A new development in oil paint
2: And in that darkest hour I held her hand to my relentless heart
1: I wish it would stop
1: Even the junkies of Jericho are scared
2: Hexagonal sunshine math/
2: For the cunt in the BMW? Yes mate
1: People people people people
2: Pins and needles
1: A private smile
2: So fragile, almost a warrior. Outmoded
1: A public smile/
1: On matters of pronunciation your authority is instinctive
2: Even the picnic upon the summer hill plays host to a swarm of bacteria
1: Chemo screams
2: Therapeutic illness
1: Lavender, marjolen, time
2: I have never been happier than this morning when she woke me
1: Oh. You're crying
2: It is ferocious
1: Algerian imagination
2: Your diction is spat/
1: Civilian war
2: We are the pedestrians
1: A sore neck
2: And so loud now in the bright daylight of noon
1: God damn your despair
2: I am faithful
2: People people people baby people
1: RSVP to my despair
2: In love
1: Learn to recognize the sirens
2: People people Kentucky fried motherfuckers
1: With primary care needs?
1: Cobalt, granite, graphite
2: Who cares?
1: Those under the yashmak veil
2: Who cares?
1: Those drunkards junkies and lovers
2: Oh - you're bleeding
1: Plagiarise a conclusion...
2 I am in love with you.
mardi, septembre 13, 2005
"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun -- for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax -- This won't hurt."
Benaud's Last Stand
It was a tense and overcast Surrey Oval that willed the England cricket team to a series victory as they finally regained the Ashes from Australia yesterday.
While pitched rooves and scaffolding of properties adjacent to the Vauxhall ground were hijacked by supporters, and the reinvigorated crowd in the stands sung to a lone trumpet, those enjoying the game at home bade a quiet farewell to 'the voice of cricket', Richie Benaud.
Shortly after tea on the final day, the Channel 4 commentator wryly stated: "It's been fun", and climbed out of the box to end a 42 year career in English cricket broadcasting.
As a leg-spinner and captain of Australia, he never lost a series while in charge, becoming the first player to score over 10,000 runs and take over 500 wickets in the process.
In commentating, Benaud's deception is to let the game speak for itself, providing only occasional score updates and piquant one-liners, and this is why he has earned the respect of players, coaches and fans globally.
He understands the nature of both sport and sportsmanship. A true pioneer of televised sports journalism and an outstanding leader of his country, Benaud’s legacy will inspire future generations of players, press and pundits alike.
mercredi, août 31, 2005
porno math problem
hair crescent the girl with pale skin and long
slender limbs lies across the concrete prostrate.
he dances up the estuary beach like ginger
hands in pockets whistling a show tune
the girl with dark hair gasps a name
and you ask me what's in it?
desire thus - narcissus vs me
so she wears only jeans
crux upon the altar of a front door step
posterized and tense
hands ripping pants > snarling in stockings
red sky at night > incandescant
he skates across the south bank
with headphones on listening
the girl with the dark hair is
boredom thus - desire x desire
samedi, août 20, 2005
'Shhh', I signed, approaching her. She started to scream again so I pulled the starting pistol from my dressing gown and fired it at her face. Starlings on the windowsill took flight. She dropped her absinthe glass and glared at me as I observed the regal progress of the viscous green sucrose across the chequerboard floor.
'Zamaluje Cie', she whispered dynamically, removed a paint brush from her clasp bag and pointed it in turn at me.
We stood there for thirty seconds engaged thus, waiting for signs, for movement. When her concentration lapsed with a brief blink and I threw the weapon at her head as hard as I could. She ducked down and it missed but I landed a kick upon the top of her skull with my slippered foot. She fell to the floor stunned and I pounced, cuffing her arms behind her neck in the Los Angeles deadgrip and ripping her crackly tights from beneath her skirt.
'No cunt no!' she shouted and kicked me hard in the balls. I gagged and fell foetal as she stood gasping and ran, cuffed, to the covenant draw. My face was covered in absinthe and minor lacerations and it stung like guilt. I watched her remove a loaded hypoderm.
'You'll never do it', I said quietly, my strength returning. Surgical spirit dripped off the needle and splashed like tears upon her chest. She turned to look at me.
Her perfect lips hovered over her naked bruised leg, the needle aimed. Her mouth opened in half frames and the syringe fell straight and true like a dart, sinking deep into the flesh. She doubled her abdomen over and pushed the plunger down. There was a momentary pulsation in her temple and her eyelids flickered, then a utopian simple smile expanded across her and she dropped sideways upon the floor.
The camera rises up and holds in the chandelier position, observing the plan of this room. The red chair. The opened draw. The spilt alcohol. The woman. The man. The debris. Finally it moves up through the ceiling and accelerates exponentially, away from the balletic skyline of nocturnal Paris and on towards distant stars.
vendredi, août 19, 2005
jeudi, août 18, 2005
15 Photographs I Took At Your Funeral
Maggots catapulted over the forgotten millpond
scattered like lead fizz from a shotgun.
Fish rose from their depths.
My awkward tattoos, mourner's prayers and brokered
tongue spoke of loss unknown.
Death in hyperbole.
Toffee popcorn in pewter urns
on the long solemn oak table of your wake.
Girls in white dresses huddled on iron benches
in the evergreen shadow of an ancient
My collar would not fasten.
The priest scolded me in his biblical fashion:
Souvenir matchbooks with emerald heads
ignited in dense clouds of cordite
for chuckling cigars. I choked.
Boys in black suits spiralled together
to contest who of them knew you best.
They spat on the loch path.
The swifts hunted oblivious, their automated
wing bones conditioning the winds with
Excuse me? I'd like
one of the family now.
The stars spin like a discus
or maybe it's the raw ether
of cheap gin.
The recycled papyrus bus billet
perforated with journeys
will always be One Way.
The black Ferrari Modena
showed us how far we had come
on our own.
You looked into me with hunger
as we waltzed under transient
A golden pipe organ
Out of focus.
mercredi, août 17, 2005
how quick we forget the past
fear hidden under angry beds
trying too hard
trying too hard
white glow headphones
and if we ever define love let me know
london is new
stone bench infatuation
trophy cabinet of alcohol
give up everything for danger
boy meets girl
girl meets boy
dont believe in miracles
my life a harmonic fourth kiss in progress
dont remember syracuse
london is calling
remember the future
all this is meaningless
a predictive prayer
8 hail marys
and our fathers can go to hell
turquoise watch strap
the elegant bones in that hand
take care when we part
attic chamber bleeds lilac paint
what was that about miracles?
and songs by lou reed
trying too hard
don't tell us! it won't come true!
moths on the ceiling
gunmetal grey frame
red morning light
under oxygenated water
cakrakaran tangents birth bala as
the mystics sculpt the rising sun
he needs us more than we need him
the business women unpoise wet
candaka repeals the light of day
so fierce as to be invisible
genetic programming on dos basic
font the colour of biblical olives
currency of wishes
arki eyes saturnine
inopiate and upwardly mobile
i wait for you
samedi, août 13, 2005
Before the paint he is full of the nutrients of pregnancy. Before the paint he is well-fed and lucid. Before the paint he is qualified. Yet he knows that when the first line appears, he must follow it as his imagination, desire and ability instruct. Rage and rebellion against cerebral flow is recognised as futile. A resurgence of independence will be quashed like a backwater coup d’etat, a rural distraction. The first line has appeared.
Neither of the earth’s two moons are visible through the gauzed pollutant clouds tonight and so neon and phosphor bar signs combust sub-terrestrially, too big for themselves, too bright for the night, repelling moths and teenage prostitutes alike. Universal sinewaves have synchronised their tunings to B minor. A comet flares briefly.
He cannot mix a primary colour. Taking a blank compact disc from his bag he sits in the empty bathtub, breaks the disc into two complete halves and considers the brittle misshapen reflection that defies him in stereo. He cannot separate a primary colour. For hell he cuts his tan flesh, the idle painless indulgence of scoring bad poems into his skin. The controlled copperplate hand is unsuitable for verbose stanzas so he writes a broad allegory of dogs and desire, tearing through muscle and goosebump like a great artist should. The anti-coagulating steam molecules argue in B minor.
The man works at his canvas. He is painting a chocolate box in negative colours. He uses no models.
jeudi, août 11, 2005
Jukebox 20p 2 Plays
He offers a tray of fairy cakes iced with marmalade and nettle which she accepts whilst shielding her eyes from the curdled sky, grin guilty. Since his father was hospitalized the man has been aging badly, forgetting the day, and the lines spreading from his eyes speak of tomorrow. Kansa. A solitary piano plays.
The girl eats slowly and silently, removing small clusters of sponge with thumb and index. Her full pink lips are scarred, her eyes are an embrace.
'You cannot capture both the sun and your shadow in a photograph', he whispers, reading from the small book cradled upon his lap.
An aqueous ochre coy flops in the brown pond water.
'You remind me of Gretchen when we are alone', he says, looking up at the girl.
She lights a cigaret and passes it to him.
'Let's not do this ping-pong', she announces finally. He seems to like this. He smiles.
The church bells peal prayer hymns and the girl has rosary beads in her mouth. She sings to herself.
The man stands and flicks his cigaret. He approaches her.
'Let's go upstairs', she says.
The table rots in swarm clouds of lacewings, bluebottles and earwigs. Spore covered food decomposes. The church bells peal a prayer hymn, this waltz a soundtrack to orgy, absence and the dance of the flies. A mouse with sleek wet fur disappears into the brass horn of the gramaphone and the sky is lipid. Twelve o'clock.
In a corner sits a broken man, victim of a crash, both tibias rupturing up through the skin of his shins, his ribcage flesh lacerated and bone exposed, eyes rolled back, breathing in shallow, grabbing splashes like an old or beaten horse. His head slumps forward. He is bleeding from the nostrils and his left eye is green.
A small notebook sits cradled in his lap. The clinical odours of propane and bonfires can be smelt.
The man gasps as he reaches into his pocket, retracting a rosary which he holds weakly to his chest.
The man dies. Insects lay eggs. In the pond, brittle dessicated frogspawn fossilises with the crusted sheen of a snail's path or petrol in a puddle.
vendredi, juillet 08, 2005
mardi, juin 21, 2005
vendredi, juin 17, 2005
Hijack The Casino
unseen brother of mine and commander fuckwit
alight with dyspepsia: hyenas we are out to get you
and you and you
no time like the presence of god in your dead eyes
to wrap up warm and storm the embassy
with red fibrous ties knotted about the brow,
like rambo or some other marine cunt
no christ thank god,
we ain't seen nothin yet of Him,
but my springfield mag is stocked gold and pointed
upwards for the first shot at spiritual allusions
infinite side to the coin
we'll kick off the away end
to all provost and bluster -
no thanks boss
milkshake and cerebellum
hand in hand.
rest your palsy in asphodel
whatever the local blossom
rest your eyes replete
in thimbles of vinegar
of the white wine genus
rest your syntax
upon the finest pivot
of unbalanced fractions
its on again ... it's on and we made our choices
to boogie stop shuffle off this exponential curve
as blue eyed scalpels and blond haired die
hand in hand in hand at the roulette wheel
oh yes we made our choices on 00
in the vain hope that one of us would
kick down the door of central office
and set about the governors with humanity
and what do you know?
i shot the hyenas
you shot god
he shot all these governors
we shot the boss
your number is up colonel,
to the sorting office.
third exit on your left.
cymbals and symbols splashing
stretched upon the table
like the sky anaesthetized
fighting for devices
to confound your green irises
hold my hand
you think me an image
in thin air
but as i go
to my simple heart
and to you
you think me an abstract
my soul dissolves
in the petridish
you stroke my hair
from my eyes
i do everything
to find you
i do nothing
and lose you
ceiling fans chop
the stereo is on repeat
jeudi, juin 16, 2005
mercredi, juin 15, 2005
we english are huge malcontents,
flocking in droves to mediterranean europe
because we think that we have nothing.
but yet we often neglect to look for it in the first place,
to know our country,
to be proud of it's singular,
if you are english and disenchanted,
walk out to where you are alone,
do it when everything is collapsing around you,
sweat out your madness for a while.
we were called great because we led the way,
now we are hurling spears at progression.
its a damned shame.
spike milligan says
if i die in war
you remember me
if i live in peace
a clever title here
even if they don't know its significance,
still it is a mighty piece of fine art and
it is the stereo-typical image of philosophy,
misconceived as deep thought. It is ubiquitous,
from clinton greeting cards to roy walker's
catchphrase, the fist screwed into the brow,
the supressed power, that incurable joy for life
found in the greatest sculptor's works.
now, as an unashamed layman of the subject
of philosophy, you will have to excuse
my polarised 23 year old view. all i know is that
philosophy should be liberating.
it should enlighten your concerns of issues
with serenity where you may have been consumed
with the self/ external obsessions we all suffer,
and, as a brief aside, it is maybe in
this sense that philosophy becomes atheistic,
with it's surrogacy of the compassion of god
and his children.
so with this approach in mind, thinking, as i am,
from the bench in the woods, lying on my back
looking at stars, all fairly normal, i have to bring up
my objection, my dissatisfaction with Rodin's thinker
and especially with the public image it has come
thought should not be seen to be oppressed,
it should not be the image of Seneca resting his weary
head upon gnarled hands crutched upon the rounded
end of his cane. there is no celebration of the triumph
of original, political, creative, intelligent thought
in this image.
it is oppression.
this is how it is: people don't get the allegory
of the thinker's form. when people recall the thinker's image
in their minds, it is always subdued and foetal. they don't get
the sense of politics oppressing the thinker, the context of his form,
just the weight of serious thought upon his shoulders.
so, in this tragic era of what a certain clan of unimaginatives
like to deem 'P.R.', philosophy needs to be not thought of as so
bookish, so quiet, so oppressive, it needs a P.R. makeover,
and don't balk - it's sadly true.
we moderns, and we are at
a cultural recycling depot currently,
we need philosophy as much, if not more than ever,
but perhaps we don't realise it.
we need liberation
from the sound pollution,
i tell you - the cities subhuman elemental roar
unnerves us, it is not natural - i'm with Darwin.
we need emancipation through thought,
from fear and crime,
introspection and one night stands,
it's the only way,
the only true way,
for the people to develope to great happiness,
contentment and joy.
we need to think a bit more clearly.
one foot a day.
you have bamboo canes in the garden,
the thin young shoots browned and splintering
used to prop up everything from runner and broad beans
to black nylon raspberry nets.
and if you're young you use them as swords
with your sisters and brothers until
someone gets whipped across the arm,
on the knuckle, or, agony and tears,
the back of the hand.
bamboo canes have notches in,
every foot apart,
a six foot cane is
a six day old shoot
with darkness seperating the stems of life, light,
each days growth stunted by bands of night.
mardi, juin 14, 2005
Po Mo Mo Fo
a secret text #
infused with a ~new~ poison
solaris * eclipses
on a car bonnet
//strangled// to Aerosmith
"to close my eyes"
and \\splinterin\\ ribs
"to miss a beat"
in the birdbath)
shoot the blues
i love this dead girl
fuck you sponge!
fuck you reader!
i loved this girl
samedi, juin 11, 2005
vendredi, juin 10, 2005
The Smartest Kid On Earth
jeudi, juin 09, 2005
the sun fierce at nine and low on it's climb,
and from the Green Hills of Africa
on the subject of Masai mentality:
'They had that attitude that makes brothers,
that unexpressed but instant and complete acceptance
that you must be a Masai wherever it is you come from.
That attitude you only get from the best of the English,
the best of the Hungarians and the very best Spaniards;
the thing that used to be the most clear distinction of nobility
when there was nobility.'
And how the French resent it!
And the Americans too, I fear.
For having given up on nobility in all it's systems,
they justly now regard the inferior English,
the lesser Hungarians and the prosaic Spanish
with contempt and pity.
But faced with one of us who has it blooded,
through centuries of dying in peace
faced with us now,
they become flustered and pale
Disinterest, this is it,
a disinterested friendliness,
a friendly provocation,
a provocative joke,
a joking disinterest -
none of that zealous,
forged jewelleryof smiles and handshakes
and questions fucking questions
so lacking in adventure and magic
and curiosity as to what's in the draw,
and holding a fallen bird's nest with eggs
like some delicate crown
as real as jewellery...
a dislike of lengthy conversations,
a whisper to a child:
'when an adult looks very serious
he or she is usually thinking about
when to wash the car,
or what to have for dinner'
and delighted giggles.
But it is an ignorant thing
and those who have it
do not survive.
Long Live America,
Vive La France.
mercredi, juin 08, 2005
'Bloody tea', I said sitting up still asleep and prising my eyes open.
Green light banded the canvas entrance, a clear day, and I took the mug with both hands.
'We're moving to the north side of the river, there's a gang of travellers turned up in the night. '
'Bad travellers or good?'
'I heard acid trance at first light,' he said. 'You would have too if you ever woke up for life.'
'I don't want to move, this is a good southern spot, look at the light sheafs and listen to the silence.'
Immediately upon this declaration, a huge explosion of bass and synth showered mud and beetles over the roof of the tent. I climbed up out of bed holding the patterned blanket about my waist and peered under the entrance flap. Outside, whooping and drunk, a tribal dance of dreadlocked hypercoloured vagrants circled an indecent plastic fire, arms locked and then unlocked and flailing. Empty grey cider bottles lay around our small camp space and not five metres away a large blue bus that appeared to be some kind of reclaimed military ambulance, painted with yellow flowers, hung with superstition, had been parked. A toddler sitting on the sidesteps of the ambulance waved shyly at me. I pulled myself back in.
'Are you packed?' I said.
'Yes, but I can't find the tobacco tin.'
We both fell to the ground to have another look out.
'Why is it you only ever see such people with rollies, and always smoked to within a fraction of the roach, and never lit, just clamped to the lips?'
'They'd regard a full cigaret as bourgeois.'
'Oh poor misunderstood Karl Marx.'
'There it is look!' Act whispered excitedly. 'Over there, next to that guy with the dog.'
I looked over to the other side of the fire. A dirty mongrel was throwing beer cans and polystyrene into the fire with arcing shots, absently, dead eyed, the look of someone at the end of a difficult trip. His dog looked immaculate, clean, dangerous. In front of the dog was the green and gold tin, quite visible, propped up on one side.
'How do they roll with paws?'
'I've got a plan,' Act said. 'Let's pack up your tent, make to move off, then you ask them for directions. If there's one thing a traveller loves, its giving directions to the lost.'
'That doesn't sound very convincing.'
'No, you wait and see. They're the type to form a mob. They'll be round you like vultures, weighing you up, telling you where to go and how to get there and when the best time of morning is for finding liberty caps.'
'And what are you going to do while I fend them off?'
'Give the dog some beans and get the tobacco.'
'Dogs don't eat beans!'
'A travelling dog will eat anything.'
So I climbed out of the tent, pulling on jeans and a white t-shirt, which I immediately sloshed tea over, and helped Act to collapse the camp.
'Go to hell. Where's the peg-bag?'
'You want any help there boys?' said a gloomy looking woman, peering at us with some intent as she leaned on a stick covered in ribbons and bells. We had quite plainly finished packing, our world lay in bags around us, and I thought the woman looked like a miserable fake, like a receptionist kidnapped and duped, foreign to herself and hostile.
'Yeah actually,' I began, pulling the crumpled splitting map from my back pocket and kicking a bundled sleeping bag to one side as I approached, an unconsidered, casual kick.
'Do you know the best place to pick mushrooms round here?'
I could sense Act giving me a look, a warning to provocation.
Her eyes lit up and she launched into a spitting monologue on the subject of psilocybin, and I could smell the ingested spores of time passed right there on her breath, her hideous white, spotty cleavage unnecessarily close to the map, the tranquil aura of damp morning woodland hunts everywhere in her suppression of self. The whole thing stank. Others were coming in to listen, eyeing me up and down.
A woman with a beard who presently became a man said to me, ' 'ere, what's all that brown shit on your shirt? Is that tea? Ha Ha Ha! Tea Shirt.'
'Yes Ha Ha Ha.'
'Looks like someone shat on your chest mate - you like that kind of thing do ya?' said another of my new friends with wild hair and even wilder wit, apparently.
'It looks like someone shat on your head mate', I wanted to petulantly answer, but didn't of course, for at this moment I could see Act had manoeuvred himself as naturally as possible to the exit, bags under arms, all calm and waiting by the pristine guard dog and the comatose hippy.
My hairy pal continued. 'What do you want anyway? Have you got any milk you could give us?'
'They want to know about mushrooms, where to pick 'em and that...' said the woman sharply, irritated that she might lose control, like a receptionist flustered.
I had almost all of the camp around me now, or at least watching.
And as I thought wildly for some new tactic to appeal to these people, I saw in the background Act's hand go down slowly towards the tin. He seemed to be straightening up and I was just about to leave when suddenly the dog struck.
Act yelled and there was the doberman hanging off his forearm growling and slobbering, shaking side to side ripping the flesh, flecks of muscle about the beast's muzzle. Act was yelling in pain, and as I ran over a traveller with a plank of wood beat Act around the head. Act fell to the floor unconscious and the dog let go.
'Never get Armand off 'im otherwise,' he said to me, as I watched transfixed, 'always better to play dead or knock 'em out.'
I knelt by Act, whose arm was a bloody mess, his eyes rolled back in his head. I slapped him firmly about the cheek a couple of times and he blearily winced into consciousness.
'Serves 'im right for tryin to thieve my weed,' said the hitherto comatose wanderer righteously clutching his tin. His tin.
And sure enough, digging into my back pocket, I realised there was a tobacco tin.
I picked Act up and slung his arm around my shoulder, hung various bags about his neck and carried the rest, hobbling away from the cackling party down the path by the river.
'Why didn't you use the beans?' I asked, 'you said a travelling dog would eat anything.'
'I couldn't find the tin opener,' Act replied miserably, through clenched teeth.
I looked down at the road as we hobbled together and in doing so noticed something silvered in the side pocket of his shorts.
'It's right there you idiot. In your shorts.'
'Oh god. I hate reliance,' Act said weakly, sweating, 'and what was he saying about stealing his weed?'
'Nothing, nothing. You know what those travellers are like. Stories from out of nowhere. Let's hitch to a hospital.'
And we staggered off into the gathering, mellow, early-morning sun.
mardi, juin 07, 2005
lundi, juin 06, 2005
bankrupt and unkissed with noticed
eviction of people from their land.
We met in Old Orleans on a normal
British night and stood together
laughing at the jukebox, I remember.
Slender to the point of abstraction,
in a darkened council house bedroom
she gave me definitions and stories.
In a Toyota flatbed bouncing unsprung
through declining pampas grasses
and past startled dispersing gazelles
her family fled.
Mother's shuddering shoulders
wept into an empty plastic bag
and diesel clouds belched over their
poor white linen. Father smoked
and locked down the distance.
There is now no address or contact,
and nothing I can say in protest
at the shock
of such policy in action
will bring her back.
vendredi, juin 03, 2005
Routine is everywhere: people set their watches by automated pedestrian crossings, by tolling church bells, ever oblivious to this bold full moon, squat, irregular, phosphorescent as the hands on a wristwatch.
In summer, trees wilt with the weight of exhaust and pure heat and in the winter there are no trees, there is no circus.
Children suffer under droning aeroplanes that carry delegates and holiday makers alike. Test scores are down as pylons breed leukaemia and in the midst of this hideous melange -
a man in a charcoal suit with an angry neck hunts for his absent daughter, lifting great bushes of aspidistra, scouring the cool dark car-park, yelling her name.
From where I sit, on the wrought iron balcony of the anonymous hotel over the road I can see the girl, who wears a pair of dusty jeans and some headphones around her neck, I can see this girl well hidden from the father's perspective, crouching behind a large, empty flower urn, and I can't take my eyes off her. But in a moment she disappears around the corner, gone.
Heimlich Manoeuvre (BackSlap)
Slow Release In Quartal Chimes
A flock of hooded crows rise together, maudlin on bruising thermals.
A clapping wingcase shaded by a lack of natural development.
A diesel generator freezing coronas in a rumbling refrigerator.
And what of I? I feel fine. I feel fine. I feel I am Fine.
A spiral canter the two of us upon a rich beach head
A word out of place giving lie to small truths and franchises.
A sun on diagonals from the dunes with their tallgrass paedophiles.
A mother's warning, the weather may change.
And what of A? Crying at A loss when I am here. Crying.
At a loss we met slumped by the side of the straight silent road
and it was gravities aromas that made me touch a hand
and from that moment I was not prepared
to let go.
mercredi, juin 01, 2005
mardi, mai 31, 2005
monkeys on a glass lake
and fish dancing at dusk for mosquitos,
where in a rowing boat
clouds became snow.
Tracking back through the forest
to find the source of the waterfall,
paddling to the monastery
in a coracle
called to her in rural vernacular
a gesture of friendship, recognition.
Secular Maoist insecurity and honest people
under the caps of the Annapurnas -
distant monoliths shifting,
sinister spectators of cheap blockades
decrying embargos on rice
and corpses off trail,
The bookshops stayed open throughout
the strike and she ate dhal in silence
listening to the sad slap of boot on tarmac
outside, a stone's throw
as vibrant and final as prayer
by Tibetan winds.
The bus explodes
with euphoric gunfire,
quiet and warm a bang bang
game with a simple article
and a definite end,
a manifestation of will
as we go about our day
away from the violence
We never did find the source of the waterfall.